Resident Margot Weinert, MD, and faculty members Joseph Rizzo, MD, and David Sola-Del Valle, MD, share how they became interested in ophthalmology and …
(mellow music)
So I feel like
when I got into med school,
I knew a little bit about what I want,
what kind of doctor I wanted to be like,
I knew I wanted to focus
on patient communication.
I knew I wanted a longitudinal
patient relationship.
I also knew that I like fixing things,
like working with my hands.
And so I knew I was interested
in a surgical or procedural specialty.
I was lucky enough,
to actually spend my first
two weeks of my clinical year,
at rotating in ophthalmology at Duke.
And just really enjoyed the experience.
Just really loved,
the fact that we could
see all the pathology,
literally everything is right
in front of your own eyes.
Then I did an extra year of
research, in ophthalmology
and it's really at that
time that like my passion
for ophthalmology grew,
I just think the eye is an amazing organ.
We work with people's quality
of life, which is just huge.
And we get to again have that
launching location experience,
while all being surgeons.
Which is something that's pretty unique,
I think in the world of medicine.
– When I applied,
for medical school,
I actually thought I was gonna
be a pediatric oncologist.
And then I did a
year of nephrology research.
And then I thought about psychiatry.
So I essentially liked it all.
And I had a lot of difficulty deciding
and I like to share that
because sometimes, you know,
you don't have to go into med
school thinking you're going
to be an ophthalmologist.
Sometimes it takes time to decide.
And that's what actually happened to me.
I did a year of,
nephrology research on
midway through the year
and was like you know I love the kidney,
I love how it works but it's not all.
I can't see myself doing this for 10 years
and I decided to shadow a glaucoma specialist.
And hear I am a glaucoma specialist today.
I saw him doing lasers and I saw him talking to patients about glaucoma
and like the great relationships
you have with patients.
And I honestly was hooked. I
probably saw him do lasers,
the relationship with
patients, and cataract surgery.
I was like, this is it, I want to do this.
And then that was like towards
the end of my third year.
And then I decided
and in that in terms of
meeting expectations,
I feel like it's exceeded them actually.
I'm very happy.
Oh, well, you know,
there's plenty of room for success
in the field of ophthalmology.
My co-residents, so one
was a mathematics major,
one was a liberal arts
and one was an engineer.
And they all did exceptionally well.
Of course they did it in different ways
and certainly add Mass Eye and Ear
We have seen success
in so many dimensions.
And even if you just look
at our faculty as well,
you see this incredibly diverse,
set of pathways that people have followed
to be successful.
So I think there is no limitation
based upon personality.
I think one of the ophthalmologist
different in a couple of ways,
but you know,
if you were going through
medical school than an internship
and you went into internal medicine,
you would continue to accrue
knowledge along the way
but your basic skill
sets are already in place
by the time you get to your residency.
You've already learned how to examine the liver or the heart
Boy, it's not like that
at all in ophthalmology.
You entered this field
and you have an entirely new set of skills
that you have to acquire.
Many of them technical, right?
Initially the slit lamp and
indirect ophthalmoscopy and such
but then all of the surgical techniques.
So one has to want to embrace
this new opportunity for
learning and it's, you know,
there's a lot to it and it
takes a longterm commitment
and interest in doing it.
There are what depends
how you divide it up
nine subspecialties in ophthalmology.
So it's a very esoteric field.
And I think people who are curious
and wanna follow things
down a path to understand them better,
tend to do very well.
At Mass Eye and Ear, one thing that
I think we have enjoyed over the years,
where we as faculty feel
like we have done a good job
is when the residents come
in and they're curious
and motivated and take advantage
of all that's available.
They do extremely well.
And we feel happy because
they're doing well.
So yeah, I don't think
there's any limitation
in terms of personality types.
And I think there's plenty
of room for success.

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